Sheriff Harry Young
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young says he will officially kick off his campaign for reelection during qualifying. The four-term sheriff says he plans to seek a fifth term as the county’s chief law enforcement officer, and he hopes voters will agree that he has run a successful office.
Young, 76, says he will qualify as a republican candidate, but says party affiliation plays no role in protecting the security of his constituents. “You represent everybody. You don’t ask what their party affiliation is before you reply to calls,” says Young. “I try to represent the people, and that’s the way I want to do it, make the calls and keep this county safe.”
Sheriff Young first took office in 2005, and says one of his proudest accomplishments took place this year with the creation of a county drug unit, which consists of Capt. Chris Luckey, Lt. Jake Bush and Lt. Michael Logue. “I’ve worked on getting a drug unit since I became sheriff,” says Young. “I envisioned taking the drug dealers down, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Sheriff Young says his office has operated on a limited budget and with fewer staff than should be in place. He says the Grady County Sheriff’s Office has the smallest budget in the state compared to other Georgia counties of this size.
“I guarantee you we do more with much less than other sheriff’s offices,” Young contends.
With 12 road deputies, four criminal investigators and three drug investigators, Young says his office is understaffed for a county with the population of Grady. Although the U.S. Census indicates Grady County has a population of approximately 25,000, Sheriff Young says there are thousands more who haven’t been counted. Young says he should have at least one deputy per 1,000 residents.
“I’d like to at least get four deputies per shift. We don’t have any money coming in other than what we’ve got from taxes, and I know you can only tax so much,” says Sheriff Young.
He credits the county’s security to his positive working relationships with county commissioners, the Georgia State Patrol, and police departments in Cairo and Whigham. “We’re there for them, and they’re there for us, too. We’ve got to have that. Neither one of us have enough people,” he says.
In addition to his professional work, Young is active in civic activities. He’s a member of both the Cairo Rotary Club, Whigham Community Club, American Legion Post 122 and Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of directors of the Grady County Children and Youth Council and has served on the board of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch. He says he’s active with Drug Free Grady and Grady County Family Connection.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Young says he attends Pine Park Baptist Church.
“I love this county. I want to make sure we have the best and safest county in the state of Georgia,” Young says.
Qualifying is set to take place March 2-6 with primary election slated for May 19 and general election on Nov. 3.
So far, two other candidates have stated publicly their intentions of running for the republican nomination for sheriff. They are Steve Clark and Jared Evans.